Getting a job after law school is not easy. With cutthroat competition and the oversaturated legal market, landing even an entry-level job is no mean feat.
Getting a job after law school requires dedication and hard work; it isn’t something that happens overnight. However, with the right mindset and some strategic thinking, getting that dream job after graduation doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think! Here are our top tips for getting a job after law school.
1. Decide what type of lawyer you want to be
The first step to getting a job after law school is deciding what type of lawyer you want. By deciding this from the outset, you will be able to tailor your job search accordingly.
It’s also worth noting that the type of lawyer you want to be can change over time. This is particularly common with career switchers where you may want to start off as a corporate lawyer but later decide to go into estate attorney.
2. Network, network, network
The best way to get a job after law school is to network. Building relationships with people in your industry is vital for several reasons.
To begin, it gives you a leg up in the application process by providing you with contacts and recommendations. It also puts you in the know when jobs start to come up.
3. Seek Internship Opportunities
An internship helps you get hands-on industry experience, which is invaluable in your job hunt. It also allows you to get your name out there and to meet people who may be able to assist you in getting a job after law school.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to people in your field when seeking internships. Even if they aren’t hiring, they may be able to put you in touch with people who can help.
4. Find flexible contract positions
If you are fresh out of law school, getting a job full-time right away is unlikely. With the competition being fierce and an excess of graduates, law firms are more selective than ever with whom they hire.
If you are looking to get a job after law school quickly, look for contract positions. Contract/contract-to-hire positions are positions that are not permanent.
Contractors are brought on board for a fixed term, and their services are utilized until their contract ends. Contract positions are flexible and allow you to focus on getting your foot in the door. Once a company sees how well you do your job and reviews your performance, there is a good chance that you will be hired full-time.
5. Establish your own brand
When getting a job after law school, it is important that you brand yourself. Your brand is how you want to be seen by others.
It’s the way you want your future employer to think of you. Your brand should be consistent. Whether you are applying for jobs, networking, or conducting interviews, you don’t want to be seen as a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of person.
Your brand is the way you want people to see you as a professional. Think of your brand as a logo. Your logo should be memorable and easily recognizable. When applied to your job search, your brand should be conveyed through your resume, cover letter, and interview skills.
6. Develop soft skills
Soft skills are non-technical skills required for most occupations. They include communicating well, managing your time, being resilient, and working in a team environment.
Even lawyers with technical skills like contract and commercial law must possess soft skills. After all, you will be working with others, and your ability to work well with others is essential.
If you are currently employed, you can work on developing your soft skills in your spare time. For example, you can take online courses such as public speaking, time management, and effective communication.
7. Become a volunteer
Whether you want to work in a legal setting or another industry, volunteering can be a great way to meet people and make yourself stand out. If you are interested in working in the legal field, it is also a great way to get your foot in the door of an organization and get to know people there.
You can find many legal organizations in your area through volunteering sites such as Do Something. The best time to become a volunteer is during your law school years. This way, you can tie your volunteering work to your coursework, giving you more experience.
8. Seek recommendations
Being employable means that you must be able to prove your worth. You can get your supervisor or professors to write you a recommendation letter.
The best time to do this is when you are about to start applying for jobs after graduation. Once you have applied for a few jobs and have a few interviews under your belt, consider asking your professors and supervisors if they can write you a recommendation letter.
This is a great way to show potential employers that you are serious about your career and willing to work hard. Be sure you put in the hard work while in school and graduate with good grades.
9. Revamp your resume and practice your interview skills
Your resume is the first impression a potential employer has of you. You only have a few seconds to catch their attention and get them to keep reading.
Once you have found a few jobs that you are interested in, revamp your resume according to their requirements. You can also use an online resume builder to help you create a stellar resume.
You may also want to invest in a CV service then you won’t worry about it. The best way to prepare for an interview is to practice. Ask friends if they would be willing to conduct mock interviews with you. You can also find interview practice resources online.
10. Seek jobs with training opportunities
Most companies will offer training for new employees, but this is an added cost for them. This means that they are more likely to select a candidate who is more seasoned and may not require as much training.
In addition, many law firms offer internships for law students. This is an excellent opportunity to get your foot in the door and provide you with experience in the legal field and contacts.
In closing, getting a job after law school only seems difficult before you get started. Use the tips shared in this article to get yourself ahead of the rest.